23 October 2008

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

So, High School Musical 3, where the buff and glistening Troy (Zac Efron) turns to smack, gets expelled from East High, and pimps out Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) to feed his addiction. If only. It seems pointless to criticize HSM for the very reasons it became this pithy market-conquering phenomenon, but there’s something repulsively pious about Disney’s insistence that the Albuquerque high school remain completely devoid of sex (despite the perspiring homoeroticism throughout)– surely even the most conservative of mothers wouldn’t be offended by the leads sharing the odd kiss? Instead, the Wildcat golden couple are the frustrating human embodiments of magnets repelling one another, their emotions symbolised by the most trite of weather metaphors – from thunderstorms to dancing in the rain with youthful abandon.

It’s Disney through and through, thus by rights has incredibly high production values, aided by a considerably bigger budget for its move to the big screen – the set pieces are extravagant, and an electric visual magnetism perpetuates the whole film (it’s impossible to avert your eyes from the horror) – but the musical numbers which made the franchise’s name are weak, and heavily indebted – ‘A Night To Remember’ is ripped directly from Daniel Bedingfield’s ‘James Dean’, and ‘The Boys Are Back’ is ‘Greased Lightning’ for a post-JT generation – and tainted by brassy vocoder-ridden pitchiness, embarrassingly X Factor key changes, and sharp insights like “high school wasn’t meant to last forever”. Sadly, Disney obviously think high school should be never-ending – a fourth film is in the works. There’s hope yet for the smack storyline.


No comments: